Monday, June 30, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 6/30-7/6/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals and my 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks. Also, be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

Can anyone believe that this Friday is the 4th of July? Seriously, how did we get here so fast? I'm pretty sure I say that every year, but I feel like summer is flying by. My family and I attend the parade in our town, have a BBQ with extended family and watch the fireworks downtown at night. I'm bringing on plan food to the BBQ so I can stay on track. Holidays seem like the time that I derail the most.



This past week I took my kids strawberry picking. We picked 11 pounds and after freezing some, giving some to my mom and eating quite a bit we have just about 2 pounds left. I need to use them up before they spoil, so you will see a lot of strawberries on my menu this week. 

Here's what we're eating this week:

Monday:
B - Scrambled eggs and bacon (S)
L - Very Berry Salad topped with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette and 1/2 c. 4% cottage cheese (S)
S - (2) Wasa Light Rye Crackers with wedge of Lite Laughing Cow Cheese and Strawberry Lemonade (FP)
D - Grilled Chicken Breast served over brown rice with steamed cauliflower and broccoli (E)

Tuesday:
B - Green Smoothie (E) ***Omit the banana
L - Very Berry Salad topped with leftover grilled chicken and Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette (S)
S - handful of almonds, 1 oz. cheddar cheese and Strawberry Lemonade (S)
D - Unstuffed Cabbage Roll (S)

Wednesday:
B - Creamy Coconut Strawberry Smoothie (S)
L - Buffalo Ranch Chicken Salad served over lettuce with 1/2 c. raspberries (FP) ***Use 0% Plain Greek Yogurt in the dressing
S - Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Bar (S)
D - Grilled steak with Baked Parmesan Zucchini and side salad with Ranch (S) ***In the steak marinade substitute Bragg's Liquid Aminos or tamari for the soy sauce

Thursday:
B - Fruity Blend Yogurt (E) pg. 251
L - leftover steak over a salad with Ranch (S)
S - Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Bar (S)
D - Burrito Bowls - Black beans, Spanish rice, fajita chicken and veggies, salsa and lettuce (E) ***Substitute brown rice for the white rice in the Spanish rice.

Friday:
B - Big Boy Smoothie (FP) pg. 242
L - leftover burrito bowl (E)
S - Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Bar (S)
D - Cookout with extended family - grilled burgers and hot dogs (no bun), Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad, Broccoli Cauliflower Salad, vegetables with Ranch, strawberries with homemade whip cream (heavy whipping cream, sweetened with Truvia or THM Sweet Blend and a dash of vanilla extract and whip until soft peaks form) (S)

Saturday:
B - Cheesy Crustless Mini Quiches (S) ***Substitute almond milk for whole milk
L - Turkey wrap on a low-carb tortilla with mustard, mayo, lettuce and avocado with mixed berries on the side (S)
S - Celery with Lite Laughing Cow cheese wedge (FP)
D - Zucchini Pizza Casserole (S)

Sunday:
B - Reese Peanut Butter Cup Shake (S)
L - leftover Zucchini Pizza Casserole (S)
S - Apple with 1 t. peanut butter (E)
D - Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup (E)

Have a great week and 4th of July and happy eating!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Very Berry Salad with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette (S)


I love summer. I love the ease of our days, heading to the beach and pool, warm weather, wearing flip flops every day and so much more. Perhaps one of my favorite parts of summer is all the great local fresh produce.

Last week some of my girlfriends and I, plus all of our kids, went strawberry picking. To me no other strawberries compare to fresh picked Michigan strawberries. My kids and I picked 11 pounds. It seemed like a lot of strawberries but by the time I froze some and gave a pound to my mom we had about 3 pounds left. My four kids and I can easily demolish that many strawberries in a week. I knew I had to make one of my all  time favorite salads before all of our strawberries disappeared.

This salad is light, refreshing but very satisfying. I eat it most often for lunch, but it can be made into a full meal by adding some grilled chicken on top. The Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette is great on all types of salad. It's tangy with a hint of sweet.


Pin it for later.

Printable Recipe

Very Berry Salad          Serves 4
  • 8 oz. spinach (can substitute Romaine lettuce)
  • 1/2 c. blueberries
  • 1 c. strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 c. almonds, lightly toasted and chopped
Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T. Dijon mustard (if you like your dressing to have a strong mustard flavor, use 4 T.)
  • 1 1/8 t. THM Super Sweet Blend or other stevia based sweetener, make sure you taste as you go (If you are not eating THM, use 1 T. honey)
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  1. Wash spinach, blueberries and strawberries. Slice the strawberries.
  2. Place 1/4 c. almonds in a small frying pan over medium-low heat. When you start to smell the almonds they are toasted enough. Watch them closely as they can go from nicely toasted to burnt very quickly.
  3. Combine balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and Truvia in a small bowl. Whisk until ingredients are just combined.
  4. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  5. Lightly drizzle dressing over the salad
***Unused dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 6/23-6/29/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals and my 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks. Also, be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

In an attempt to keep my house cooler this week, I challenged myself to come up with dinner meals that are made on the grill or cooked in the Crock Pot. I've always loved making meals in the Crock Pot but for some reason I never think to use it in the summer. Plus for an added bonus, less clean up and dishes to wash!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Monday:
B - 0%  Plain Greek Yogurt sweetened with Truvia and 2 T. peanut butter (S)
L - Greek Pasta Salad with leftover chicken breast (S) ***I used Dreamfield's pasta
S - handful of peanuts and 1/2 apple (S)
D - Out at Qdoba ~ I had a burrito bowl with brown rice, chicken, fajita vegetables, lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa verde and their hot salsa (E)

Tuesday:
B - Reese Peanut Butter Cup Shake (S)
L - Salad with hard-boiled egg, bacon and Ranch (S)
S - 1/2 c. of 2% cottage cheese with 1/2 c. blueberries (E)
D - Slow Cooker Herb Chicken over brown rice (E) ***I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of the chicken thighs

Wednesday:
B - Scrambled eggs and bacon (S)
L - leftover Herb Chicken (E)
S - (2) Lemon Almond Shortbread Cookies (S)
D - Crock Pot Chicken & Quinoa (E) ***Reduce butter to 1 T.

Thursday:
B - Big Boy Smoothie (FP) pg. 242
L - Spinach Salad with Chicken and Avocado (S) ***Omit corn
S - Thin Mint Shake (S)
D - Crock Pot Green Chili Chicken served on a low-carb tortilla with lettuce, sour cream and cheese (S)

Friday:
B - Green Smoothie (E) ***Omit the banana
L - leftover Green Chili Chicken (S)
S - (2) Lemon Almond Shortbread Cookies (S)
D - Grilled chicken with mashed cauliflower and green beans (S)

Saturday:
B - Creamed Kale & Eggs (S) ***Minus the leek
L - BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) Wraps on a low-carb tortilla with strawberries (S)
S - Cottage Berry Whip (E) pg. 379
D - Slow Cooker Vegan Mexican Rice Bowls (E) ***Omit avocado salsa and use an E friendly salsa

Sunday:
B - Fruity Blend Yogurt (E) pg. 251
L - leftover Mexican Rice Bowls (E)
S - handful of almonds and 1 oz. cheddar cheese (S)
D - Grilled Cheeseburgers without the bun with Broccoli Cauliflower Salad (S)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 6/16-6/22/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals take a look at my top 30 "E" meals and my top 30 "S" meals. Also be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Now that summer is in full swing and the warmer weather has arrived, (it's taken the weather a bit here in Michigan to realize that it is in fact summer) I am making shakes and smoothies like a crazy person. I love them! They are the perfect breakfast or snack, and I love that they are portable without much fuss. Even my kids are into them! If you missed my post last week on my 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks, be sure to check it out.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - Scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil & bacon (S)
L - Ham Wrap with strawberries - Ham wrap ~ low-carb tortilla, mayo, mustard, ham, provolone cheese, lettuce, salt & pepper (S)
S - Almonds and 1 oz. cheddar cheese (S)
D - Chicken stir-fry over brown rice (E) ***I added about 1 T. sriracha to the basic stir-fry sauce, and it added a great kick, so if you like spice, give it a try.

Tuesday:
B - Thin Mint Shake (S)
L - BLAT Wrap - low-carb tortilla, bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato and Ranch (S)
S - Creamy Frozen Strawberry Lemonade (FP) ***Use this recipe for the lemonade
D - One Pan Mexican Quinoa (E) ***Omit the corn and avocado 

Wednesday:
B - Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (FP) ***I use unsweetened almond milk rather than the coconut milk
L - leftover Mexican Quinoa (E)
S - Peanut Butter Cups (S)
D - Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with a side salad dressed with Ranch (S)

Thursday:
B - Green Smoothie (E) ***Omit banana
L - Big Mac Salad (S)
S - Peanut Butter Cups (S)
D - Chicken Lo Mein (E)

Friday:
B - Chocolate Cake Batter Protein Shake (FP)
L - Loaded Fotato Soup (S) pg. 294
S - Lemon Cheesecake Bars (S)
D - Fooled Ya Pizza (S) pg. 276

Saturday:
B - Cinnamon Apple Swirl (E) pg. 250
L - Dale's Can't Stop Eating It Salad with grilled chicken breast (S)
S - Lemon Cheesecake Bars (S)
D - Crock Pot Green Chili Chicken on a low-carb tortilla with lettuce, sour cream and cheese (S)

Sunday:
B - Fruity Blend Yogurt (E) pg. 251
L - Grilled Chicken Breasts with roasted vegetables and green beans in butter (S)
S - Pumpkin Spice Cookies (S)
D - leftover Green Chili Chicken (S)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My 20 Favorite THM Shakes, Smoothies and Cold Drinks


By nature I'm not a big sweets person. Crazy right, a woman who doesn't love chocolate??? However, when sweets come in the form of a drink I can't help but gobble them up. I might just have a problem. Thankfully I've come across many Trim Healthy Mama approved shakes, smoothies and other cold drinks. I can have my indulgences and lose weight in the process. Win, win!

Many of the shakes and smoothies I drink for breakfast or for a snack sometimes too. Before starting Trim Healthy Mama I could count on both hands how many times I ate breakfast in any given year. Bad girl, I know! My biggest problem was that I didn't like to eat in the morning. I could drink water or juice all morning, but to eat, yuck! Call me lazy, picky or just running behind each morning, but I just never wanted to physically eat anything. That's why this list of shakes and smoothies has become a lifesaver for me.

Don't have time to read the whole list now? Pin it and read it later.

Here's my list of my top 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks, THM style of course:

Monday, June 9, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 6/9-6/15/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals take a look at my top 30 "E" meals and my top 30 "S" meals. Also be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

A few people have asked how much I spend per week on groceries. For my family of 6, (keep in mind all my kids are 9 and under, but are big eaters) I spend about $100-125/week. That includes everything - food, diapers, paper products, toiletries, etc... For some people I'm sure this seems like a huge grocery budget, and for some people this seems minuscule. I don't buy a lot of special THM ingredients, as its not really in the budget, and have had great success still. I try to buy in season produce as much as possible - hooray for Farmer's Markets! You'll notice we're eating a lot of berries this week because they are on sale.

I also try to keep a stock pile as much as possible. Read part 1 and 2 if you're curious about building a stock pile. Another practice I implemented a while back is prep once and eat all week. I find that by doing so it saves me so much money by not wasting food. I hope this gives you some creative ideas as well as encouragement that THM is totally possible even on a conservative budget.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - Peanut Butter Cup Shake (S)
L -  Egg Salad with cucumbers and green peppers, and strawberries (S)
S - Popcorn (E)
D - Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup (E) ***Use only 1T. olive oil and I do not eat the pasta in it, but leave it in for my family.

Tuesday:
B - Spinach Sausage Scraumble (S)
L - leftover Minestrone (E)
S - Almonds & 1/2 apple (S)
D - Pizza Casserole (S) pg. 327

Wednesday:
B - Cinnamon Apple Swirl (E) pg. 250
L - (2) Ham Roll-ups with Cucumber Avocado Caprese Salad (S) pg. 299
S - Tummy Tucking Ice Cream (S) pg. 369
D - Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake using this enchilada sauce (E) ***I'm using half the amount of cheese and Greek yogurt to keep this an E meal

Thursday:
B - Chocolate Cake Batter Protein Shake (E)
L - Fotato Soup with strawberries (FP) pg. 294
S - 1/2 c. 2% Cottage Cheese and 1/2 c. blueberries (E)
D - Loaded Cauliflower and Chicken Casserole with broccoli (S)

Friday:
B - Fruity Blend Yogurt (E) pg. 251
L - leftover Cauliflower and Chicken Casserole (S)
S - Thin Mint Shake (S)
D - Slow Cooker Herb Chicken with spinach and brown rice (E) ***Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 1 T. butter

Saturday:
B - Breakfast Ham Cups with mixed berries (S)
L - We are going to a birthday party, not sure what they are serving, but will stick to plan as close as possible
S - Celery with peanut butter (S)
D - Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers with a side salad and Ranch (S) ***Substitute Truvia or THM Sweet Blend for the Splenda

Sunday:
B - Big Boy Smoothie (FP) pg. 242
L - Burgers with Chopped Confetti Veggie Salad (S)
S - Peanut Butter Whip (S)
D - Orange Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole with broccoli (E)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 6/2-6/8/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals take a look at my top 30 "E" meals and my top 30 "S" meals. Also be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous for the last week or so. My family and I are so enjoying being outside and making new memories together. Now that its getting warmer outside I feel like I want to have a shake or smoothie all the time. You'll notice that I'm drinking plenty of them this week, and the best part is they are all on plan and healthful!

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - 0% Greek Yogurt sweetened with Truvia and mixed with strawberries and raspberries (FP)
L - Salad with hard boiled egg, bacon and Ranch dressing (S)
S - Peanut Butter Cups (S)
D - Cheeseburger (no bun), green beans and roasted vegetables (S)

Tuesday:
B - Eggs & Bacon (S)
L - Big Mac Salad (S)
S - Thin Mint Shake (S)
D - Burrito bowls - boneless, skinless chicken breast seasoned with taco seasoning and grilled, Spanish rice, sauteed green peppers and onions, black beanssalsa and lettuce (E) ***Substitute brown rice for white in the Spanish rice

Wednesday:
B - Blueberry Cheesecake Protein Shake (FP)
L - Lettuce wraps with turkey, onions, green peppers and mustard with a side of strawberries (E) pg. 297
S - Peanut Butter Cups (S)
D - Jalapeno Popper Chicken Bake with a side of broccoli (S)

Thursday:
B - Peanut Butter Cup Shake (S)
L - leftover Jalapeno Popper Chicken Bake (S)
S - (2) Lite Rye Wasa Crackers and a wedge of Lite Laughing Cow Cheese (FP)
D - Crispy Sriracha Chicken served over brown rice with a side of steamed cauliflower (E)

Friday:
B - Fudgy Cheesecake Shake (S)
L - leftover Crispy Sriracha Chicken (E)
S - Lemon Sorbet Slushy and a handful of almonds (S)
D - Pizza Casserole (S) pg. 327

Saturday:
B - Salsa Sausage Quiche (S)
L - Chicken Pot Pie Soup (E) ***Omit potatoes
S - Caramel Apple Smoothie (E)
D - Grilled Cheesy Buffalo Chicken with a side salad and Ranch (S)

Sunday:
B - Raspberry Cheesecake Shake (S)
L - Dale's Can't Stop Eating It Salad with grilled chicken breast (S) ***Substitute the sugar in the salad dressing for a THM approved sweetener. You will have to taste as you go to find the exact measurement. 
S - Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (S)
D - Chicken Lo Mein (E)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!